Over the last few months I have been craving a wargame that satisfies my need to play ranked battles. Don’t get me wrong, Age of Sigmar is absolutely stunning. Amazing miniatures, probably the best Games Workshop have ever produced, the new lore is brilliant, its just….its not Fantasy. I want my blocks of infantry. I need the grand battlelines.
So I had a look around for alternatives as I couldn’t find a Middlehammer crowd to play with.
My first thought was The 9th Age. It seemed to have all the boxes ticked:
Rank and File troops
Reskinned versions of the old Fantasy armies
Similar rules to 8th edition Warhammer
Even the old toxic forums on first glance (seriously? If I hadn’t survived the Warhammer edition changeovers, it would scare me off the hobby with the WotDG discussions)
But with the second edition coming soon, with grand changes to the core rules, I felt it wasn’t the right time.
LUKE TO THE FUTURE
Then I looked at Kings of War
I discovered this through Lukes APS YouTube channel, probably one of the top hobby channels out there. I started watching for the quality budget hobby tips, but it was when I saw his series on Kings of War that I was hooked. It was exactly what I wanted.
With the game system decided, it was time for the hardest decision in most games, Which army to use?
My first decision was that I would use only Mantic models. Only fair that they get the cash.
After narrowing it down to ones with primarily Mantic models and personal preference, I had a shortlist:
Dwarfs or Dead stuff. (Side note, I don’t like that the Ogres have skipped leg day)
Lore wise I loved all 3
Model wise same
I had to sleep on this decision
Had to be Abyssal Dwarfs
In the Fantasy days I always wanted a Chaos Dwarf army. As these were the Mantic analogue for them.
Similar in fluff, but without the big hats, I decided to pick up a box of Immortal Guard on my next trip to Element Games.
FURTHER INTO TRAGAR
With the great army guide from Direct Misfire podcast helping me sort a list, I am looking forward to my foray in Kings of War, with the unit basing jumping out as an aspect I am really looking forward to.
Onward for the Glory of Tragar
Visit Element Games here (Use the code DAN2300 at Checkout for double points)
Considering I assembled this team in December 2016, I only finished painting it a week before this event, albeit to my “That’ll Do” level.
This was my first event at the fantastic North West Gaming Centre, home of Element Games. 80 or so coaches entered, with a mix of nationalities, from Danes to an over excited Spaniard chef.
In all honesty, I was slightly in awe at the turn out and venue. With spotting people I recognised from White Dwarf issues and podcasts, it was certainly different from my usual 6 man (if we are lucky) league.
With every one registered it was time for the first round match
Round One – CQN23 with Skaven
I dusted off the ring rust with a match against Skaven. I hate Skaven. Nippy rat bastards.
It started off well early, managing to pull off a Rotter interception. Unfortunately this was the highlight of the loss. He scored fast in the first half, with my mistake letting him score a second after he stole the ball in his own half.
Round Two – Wightlord with Chaos Dwarfs
Wightlord is the nicest man in Blood Bowl.
I will start by saying that. An absolutely delightful individual.
So much so that being on the end of a 3 nil thumping still didn’t seem as bad.
Right, well I have never played against Chaos Dwarfs. It showed in this match. I had no real idea how to combat the combined minotaur and bull centaur attack.
First kick off of the game resulted in a Blitz! for the Chaos Dwarfs, decimating any semblance of a set up I had. This was also the game where seemingly no block attempts produced Push results. It was all violence, all the time.
It could have been a bigger loss if it wasn’t for my one dice block bullshit and the Mino managing to fail Wild Animal 3 turns in a row, followed by a success but failed Foul Appearance on a blitz.
After the game, Wightlord gave me advice of being less stand offish and attack more with the warriors and Beast. I used this advice in the next match.
Round Three – Odin65 with Goblins
This was the most fun I have ever had playing Blood Bowl, alternating between sublime and ridiculous.
I received the kick and managed to score in the second turn. This was followed up by a 1 turn Doom Diver touchdown. Then a Riot knocked the turn counter backwards.
So going into my turn 2, it was technically 1-1
I then received and managed to grind up the pitch, dodging bombs all the way, to make it 2-1.
And then ANOTHER DOOM DIVER TOUCHDOWN! His trolls were the Bret Favre and Peyton Manning of Goblin Tossing
Luckily it then gave me the chance to do a typical Nurgle grind up the pitch to win 3-2. Made a lot easier as I had the 9 – 6 man advantage.
In total I took 3 Goblins out of play, he took 4 goblins out of play with 5 sendings off
Ended Day One with a losing record, but had such a great day. Then home for a gargantuan spicy veg pizza and an early night
Round Four – Longstride (he of Two Drunk Flings podcast fame) with Halflings – Table 32
Whereas I had an early night, Liam had anything but. Living up to his podcasts moniker, he was indeed a drunk ‘fling coach. With a pre-match note from Liam of “If you don’t win this, I’ll never let you live it down” it was time for kick off.
The one-two combination of Deeproot and Puggy played their part in making this more competitive than it could have been. Strength 3 Halflings are nowt to be sniffed at.
I forgot how enjoyable Halfling games are, be it playing them or against them. And I now have one to start a team with, thanks to Liam and Iron Golems
At lunch I had a quick chat with other podcast royalty, Merrick of the ABAO Podcast. Great guy, struggling with the ‘flings though.
Round Five – Ruthy with Slann
I won the toss and chose to receive. The opening kick scattered one square away from the halfway line, out on the flank, with the Kick Off result of a High Kick. My Pestigor failed the catch, fumbling it into the Slann half. Of course this being a Touchback, I practically had a cage formed out wide. I used this to get a 5 turn grind up the pitch with the Touchdown occurring in the Slann turn with a leaping blitz to push me in the endzone, stopping the stall.
On defence I used the Warriors and Rotters to shepherd the Slann towards the Beast of Nurgle, with Tentacles being the skill of the game. I was fearful of the Leaping receivers so played a spread defence, hard to do with speed 4 and 5 pieces, but it worked in this situation.
Ruthy had the worst luck I have ever seen in a Blood Bowl game. I cannot even claim I played amazingly, because when your opponent constantly rolls 1s and 2s, and you roll 10s on every armour break, it takes the skill out.
Round Six – Scouseboy with Orcs – Table 15 (Almost dizzy at such a high spot)
Finally a team that I recognise. Pretty much the same roster as the Orc build I was going to use (4 Block Black Orcs, Block on the Troll…I forget the last skill)
I expected this to be a grinding out, fist fight in the middle of the pitch, I was right. Luckily I was the only one breaking armour in this game
His opening gambit was a cage down the flank, which was surprising with my Frenzy piece. After a protracted fight I got the ball free and up the pitch with a Pestigor for the score.
This was another game where my opponent couldn’t move the ball, failing pickups around the board. I was willing his final turn attempt to score, just for some form of luck justice.
Final game and a great guy to finish the tournament with.
2-0 Win – Managed the bonus points for 2+ Crowd pushes
Most TDs: 17 Sann0638 (WE) Most Cas: 21 Volkmair (Dwarf) Best Overseas Coach: RoterSternHochdahl (Undead) Best Kid: Dementor (Elven Union) Stunty Cup: Ratman (Goblin)
Best Painted: Thor87 (New Wheeled Order)
Best Sunday Comeback:
Coma (I thought my 3 win bounce would have got me this)
Best Costume: Rakkzull (Chef)
Spoon: Odin65 (My 3rd Round opponent)
NOTES ON MY TEAM
Overall I think Claw was pretty useless, only coming into play twice in the tournament.
The lack of block didn’t hurt as much as it could do, only really happening in the match against Chaos Dwarfs. Foul Appearance, Guarders and Strength 4 helped keep my guys on the pitch
Before the tournament I planned on using the Pestigor as Sweepers. I found they are better being pressure pieces further up the pitch
After the advice from Wightlord, I was very aggressive with my Warrior placement. In the match vs Ruthy’s Slann I managed to push 4 of her team into tentacle range, with Guarders helping keep them in place.
From what I heard of the past opinions of the North West Gaming Centre, Element Games have really raised the bar for tournament venues. The staff on the bar were wonderful, keeping it fully stocked with my water tipple of choice.
Special thanks go to Alex Wormall for organising a superb event, I shall be joining you again next year!
Visit Element Games here (Use the code DAN2300 at Checkout for double points)